Now I am not about to suggest that workbooks are always a waste of time.
Or that they are always a waste of money.
I'm sure they can sometimes help consolidate knowledge.
But are they, on the whole, all that helpful? Do they add real value to a child's education? Are they absolutely vital to learning?
Or have we just got used to the idea that this is how kids learn?
Maybe we need to re-view the actual value of them.
I get the arguments for:
They help the adult keep track of where a child is at so they can scaffold and tailor the child's learning.
They introduce concepts one at a time.
They are repetitive which supposedly helps solidify that knowledge, making it concrete.
Kids love stickers.
Even better if they get a gold star so they can feel all wowed by just how clever they really are.
And in my moments of desperation to conform and make things appear schooly, above board, tip-top and 'proper', I've succumbed to the Carol Vorderman-endorsed, branded type of workbook - in fact spent a small fortune on such shiny looking and reassuring books.
Now I'm not saying they have no value at all, or that these books can't ever be useful.
But..... consider this.
Kids are smart. Sometimes they're smart in an out-smarting workbooks kind of way. Sometimes they just find this kind of stuff really f'ing boring, and who can blame them?
Is there something better?
Well multi-media programmes are often more fun, and teach the same kind of information.
Great examples of these are the Cluefinders series
and here's a little video the kids told me to include here, from Cluefinders 3, which is a bit Sgt. Peppers
Next up is the really wonderful Zoombinis
..... which Finn is animatedly describing to me as I write! (20 minutes later he's still raving about it)
He describes Zoombinis as "more fun and educational than workbooks because they're on a computer and the characters talk to you and it's exciting doing the adventures and it really captures the imagination"
Nessy is anther game the kids love, this one is for teaching dyslexic children how to spell etc...
Look out for their iphone/ipad app in the itunes stores.
Herbie says "Nessy is a great game of spelling, puzzles and different sort of stuff that is really fun. One of my favourite games on Nessy is the vampire game, where you have to choose the right words to fill in the blanks. It's really adventurous and a a tinsy wincy bit scary!!!"
Alf says "I love Nessy, it's so cute!"
Last and by no means least, for primary aged kids, The 'Land of Me' is just ridiculously cute and awesome, and uses the simple premise of giving you three different choices within different game scenarios, each with fun consequences! Check out this trailer if you have been living under a rock and haven't heard of it yet!
Likey like? You can watch more here: Land Of Me
What do you think anyway m'dears?
Are workbooks dead?